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‘Everything felt like it was crashing into the house,’ man says of unexpected tornado

<i></i><br/>'Everything felt like it was crashing into the house
Lawrence, Nakia

'Everything felt like it was crashing into the house

By Taylor Thompson

Click here for updates on this story

    HENDERSON COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Henderson County about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the first tornado in the county in 46 years.

Shawn Gasperson, who has lived in Henderson County his entire life, said this was the first tornado he ever experienced.

He said Sunday began as a normal night. Gasperson saw on the weather app that rain was coming and thought he was getting ready for a peaceful night’s sleep.

That peace ended as soon as Gasperson heard what he thought was thunder. But it got louder and louder until he felt a boom of something on top of his home.

“All of a sudden, everything felt like it was crashing into the house,” Gasperson said.

Gasperson said he yelled to his wife that he thought a tree had hit the house and then ran to make sure his two children were OK.

Once Gasperson knew his wife and children weren’t injured, he began to assess the damage.

“There was a massive tree in the middle of my house, and, as I came outside, I started to notice all the debris everywhere,” he said.

No thunder, no tornado warning, Gasperson said he didn’t expect it to be bad, and then he walked outside to an insane amount of damage.

“You don’t realize how much damage it is until you just sit back and look,” he said.

Nearby neighbor Tyler Nicholson said he and his wife weren’t home at the time but came home to the aftermath.

Nicholson said when he pulled into his driveway, he saw several fallen trees and debris everywhere.

Many of the trees had just barely missed his home.

“God had his hand on it, that’s for sure,” Nicholson said.

Both residents were focused on the bright side Monday — the damage is fixable and no one was injured.

“It’s just been kind of a hectic day, but, you know, it could have been a lot worse. We’re just thankful everyone’s OK,” Gasperson said.

Now, it’s just about focusing on the cleanup, moving the trees and debris and working with insurance to fix his home, Gasperson said.

Nicholson agreed things could have been a lot worse than they were.

While neither ever expected to have to deal with the aftermath of a tornado in Henderson County, they’re counting their blessings that the worst of the damage is debris and fallen trees.

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